- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
- 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground mace
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 4 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 pounds catfish fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups water
- 2 medium red onions, finely diced
- 2/3 cup fresh lime juice
- Kosher salt
- 4 ripe Hass avocados, cut into 1-inch dice
- Basmati rice, for serving
- In a skillet, toast the coriander and cumin seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, 1 minute; transfer to a spice grinder and let cool. Finely grind. In a bowl, mix the coriander, cumin, thyme, oregano, chile powders, salt, sugar, mace, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- In a food processor, puree the onion, garlic and poppy seeds. In a casserole, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion mixture and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the moisture has evaporated and the onion puree begins to brown, 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the spice mixture and cook until fragrant.
- Arrange the catfish in the casserole in a single layer. Pour in the water, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Transfer the fish to a bowl. Boil the sauce, uncovered, until it has thickened, 5 minutes longer. Return the fish to the casserole and keep warm.
- In a large bowl, toss the onion with the lime juice and season with salt. Add the diced avocados and toss.
- Scoop the rice into bowls. Spoon the fish on top and serve with the avocado salad.